A displaced Yazidi family.
Displaced Iraqis, many from the Yazidi minority, who have been stranded in a jihadist-hemmed mountain for a week will die en masse if not rescued urgently, a Yazidi MP said yesterday.
"We have one or two days left to help these people. After that they will start dying en masse," Vian Dakhil told AFP.
Thousands of Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking minority following an ancient faith rooted in Zoroastrianism, fled their homes a week ago when Islamic State militants, who dubbed them as "devil worshippers", attacked the town of Sinjar.
Many of them have since been stranded in the nearby mountain range, with no food and water in searing temperatures.
Meanwhile, an Iraqi official said that hundreds of Yazidi women have been taken captive by the Sunni militants, further underscoring the plight of Iraq's minorities at the hands of the Islamic State group.
The women captured are under 35-years-old, and are being held in schools in Iraq's second city, Mosul, said the spokesman for Iraq's Human Rights Ministry, Kamil Amin.
The US also confirmed that the Islamic State had kidnapped and imprisoned the women, but the exact number victimised is unknown. The captives will be sold or married off to extremist fighters, said the US official who spoke on condition of anonymity.